“I was in my final year in high school when I discovered that I was pregnant. Anxiety creped in. I was so afraid and ashamed to disclose this to anyone.” Explains Wilofrica Chepkirui a Binti Shujaa (Girl’s Heroine) from Njoro Subcounty in Nakuru.
“My boyfriend vanished immediately after I broke the news of my pregnancy. This made the situation even more difficult and many times I contemplated suicide to put an end to my miseries.”
Becoming a teen mother is something she could not want other girls to go through and when an opportunity came to be trained as a youth champion, she seized the opportunity. “I want to mentor other girls, especially from my area on the importance of abstinence, use of protection for those who cannot abstain and also give hope to the teen mothers like myself and encourage them to go back to school after delivery.”
Binti Shujaa which is a GS Kenya innovation targeting teenage girls & young female adults with babies below 24 months.
This program trains and empowers these Binti Shujaa with skills so that they can mentor other adolescents and provide them with reproductive health information, linkage to health services, life skills, and peer-to-peer support.
Pregnant teens face a myriad of challenges which include stigmatization, and moral and financial support deprivation. This makes them hesitant in seeking reproductive health care services from health facilities.
Binti Shujaa initiative is determined to change the tide and has trained volunteers who in conjunction with the County Health Management Team through USAID Tujenge Jamii technical assistance will provide health education and help in the implementation of youth programs that are focused on improving ANC, PNC, HIV prevention and management, maternal and child nutrition, immunization, menstrual hygiene management and uptake of Family Planning services among the adolescents and young women.